Alabama farmers give thumbs up to new China trade pact

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ELMORE COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) -- Alabama’s agriculture industry is talking about President Donald Trump’s new trade deal with China.

Elmore County, Alabama farmer Richard Edgar (Source: WSFA)

Richard Edgar stepped into the farming business long ago. Never before has he felt so optimistic about its future, "just based on the opportunity we have.”

China has agreed to buy, on average, $40 billion worth of U.S. food, agricultural and seafood products on an annual basis as part of the deal.

“To put that in perspective, we should go back to 2018. China imported around $9 billion in products, so pretty substantial increase doubling it on an annual basis,” said ALFA National Affairs Director Mitt Walker.

Another key part of the pact; the poultry market has the potential to reach $1 billion annually in China, and it could be even better for pork.

“The first shipment of poultry went to China this week,” said Walker.

“Something had to be done,” said Edgar who never let the trade spat get far from his mind during the tedious negotiations and the tit-for-tat tariffs. The fifth-generation farmer produces 900 acres worth of soybeans, cotton, wheat, and corn.

“In dollars, they have a huge effect,” Edgard stated. He never had to make any drastic cuts in his operations. He simply had to be more careful on the business side of things while the trade war raged between Washington and China.

Overall, there seems to be a general consensus that this is, in fact, a good deal for both countries.

The only question for Walker? “Just making sure China sticks to the commitments they’ve made.”

That’s something Edgar can’t control, but he’ll just keep doing what he’s always done on the farm; plow ahead.

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